What to expect from MaArte Fair 2017

Karen Flores, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 25 2017 02:19 PM

Nicole Whisenhunt jewelry. Facebook.com/maartefair

Stockton Row earrings.Facebook.com/maartefair

Tali Handmade Sling Bag. Facebook.com/maartefair

Balay ni Atong handwoven blanket. Facebook.com/maartefair

Iraya Mangyan Art eco tote. Facebook.com/maartefair

MCV Designs clutch. Facebook.com/maartefair

Joey de Castro pottery. Facebook.com/maartefair

Oscar Mejia fragrances. Facebook.com/maartefair

Milvidas hand-knit covers and napkins. Facebook.com/maartefair

MANILA – The highly anticipated MaArte Fair of the Museum Foundation of the Philippines (MFPI) has moved to a new venue.

For its ninth year, the MaArte Fair will be held at The Peninsula Manila from August 11 to 13, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

The hotel’s gallery will be transformed into an elegant shopping venue with a tropical living room ambiance, doing away with display panels normally seen in bazaars. 

The idea, according to MFPI president Albert Avellana, is to make guests feel that they are looking at goods sold at a close friend’s home.

“It’s a partnership for the long-haul,” he said of their collaboration with The Peninsula Manila. “They don’t see us as a one-time tenant here. They’re even offering the MaArTea for the whole month of August.”

Avellana was referring to The Peninsula Manila’s month-long promotion to support MFPI’s fund-raising efforts. This August, custom brews called MaArTea – courtesy of Tsaa Laya and da.u.de – will be served during afternoon tea service at the Lobby. Part of the proceeds will be given to the foundation.

Explaining where the funds raised by MFPI go, Avellana said: “Automatically, 50% is spent for the National Museum in different ways. Recently, we were able to give financial assistance for the Museum of National History. There’s also museum guide training and other projects.”

“Proceeds from our two basic fundraisers – Art in the Park and MaArte – go to the budget next year for the National Museum. What we earn this year will be allocated for next year’s spending for the National Museum,” he continued. “The foundation donates to the National Museum, and the National Museum is yours. So every centavo you spend is actually for you.”

The smaller venue of MaArte Fair 2017 meant a streamlined list of exhibitors – at 31 from 70 in previous years.

“We did not cut. It’s just that we cannot accommodate them. We wish we could,” explained Avellana. “We approached two consultants to help us pick the mix together. We have about 10 new exhibitors.”

While it is a fund-raising event, the MaArte Fair is all about showcasing quality Filipino products, the MFPI president added. “We’re not just trying to reach goals of income. We promise to offer a quality event with good products. It’s about quality shopping,” he said.

Avellana hopes to expand the MaArte Fair’s reach this year by tapping into the millennial market, thus the inclusion of young exhibitors like Nicole Whisenhunt and Mich Araullo.

Whisenhunt, known for her statement bib necklaces and embroidered handbags, is set to present a millennial-friendly jewelry collection called Stockton Row during the three-day fair.

“I’m actually presenting two lines – my fine jewelry line which is under my name, and another line that I’ve partnered with my best friend… Stockton Row is younger and more casual, and it’s really meant to be on trend. And it’s also more affordable,” she said.

Araullo, for her part, said she has always wanted to apply what she has learned in fashion design and create embroidered, summery pieces.

“I actually started ten years ago, when I was in college. I started designing RTW (ready-to-wear) and this is why I was studying fashion design and merchandising in Benilde. I really just want to practice and apply it already,” she shared. “I joined bazaars and that’s where I would usually sell my work. And from there, I kind of branched out to custom-made formals and bridal.”

Aside from Whisenhunt and Araullo, other exhibitors in this year’s MaArte Fair include Haute Home Manila, Joey de Castro Pottery, Sigrid Bangyay’s Stoneware Pottery, Balay ni Atong, Milvidas, Gifts and Graces Fair Trade Foundation, Beyond Borders Philippines, KASSA Art of Table, Iraya Mangyan Art, Cabaña Workshop, TDLG, TimTam Ong, Unang Panahon Arts & Antiques, N Lagdameo, Micki Olaguer, Two Chic by TC Alvarez, La Herminia Piña, Filip + Inna, Violetvine by Amarie, Rurungan sa Tubod Foundation/Tepiña, Aranaz, Oscar Mejia Artisan Fragrances, Tali Handmade, Yvette’s Bags, Creative Definitions, Chill by Nooks, and MCV Designs.